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10 Reasons Why Your School Website Visitors Are Leaving In The First 10 Seconds

Published on 22/02/17

Is your school website underperforming? Are your bounce rates getting worse and you just can't figure out why? There are a number of reasons why your school website may be underperforming; and here are a few of them...

1. Bad Navigation

Nothing will frustrate your audience more than a website that's hard to navigate. Users should be able to arrive at your site and immediately be able to find the page or information they want; quickly and easily. Your navigation menu and sub-nav menus need to be intuitive and reflect the sequential steps of your customer journey. Complex, disjointed or inconsistent navigation will confuse and disorientate your users, making them feel helpless and frustrated - definitely not the kind of impact you want to make on your beloved audience.

Tip: If you're using CTA (call-to-action) buttons, make sure they clearly tell the user exactly what information they will find, or where they will end up, after they click it.

2. Poor Page Structure

The way you layout your content will have a direct impact on how it is digested, interpreted and acted upon. So, when it comes to planning out a web page, you should do it with your conversion and retention rates in mind. Make your content easy to find (with a well structured sitemap), especially your contact details. Over 50% of conversions are lost because potential customers can't find what they are looking for.

Tip: Group similar content in a clear and consistent manner to avoid sending your school website visitors to the wrong place.

3. Too Many Disruptions

Don't suffocate your visitors with pop-up suggestions of subscriptions or alerts that take over their entire screen and ultimately disrupt their journey around your site. This will end up frustrating your audience and may cause them to leave your school website before they achieve the goal, or find the information, they initially wanted.

Tip: Feature alerts in banners at the top of the page - and subscription forms at the bottom or side - to prevent disrupting the user's journey by forcing them to click and close down a pop-up.

4. Un-Responsive

80% of users utilise their smartphones to search the internet, which means it's now more important than ever to have a mobile-friendly site. If your website isn't responsive, you are already alienating 1 in 4 users who only use their smartphone to browse the web. Not to mention Google's mobile-friendly algorithm that will automatically rank you website lower in the SERPs (search engine results pages) for being un-responsive.

Tip: If you are unsure if your school website is responsive or not, you can test it here. Don't worry if it isn't; we can help!

5. Obtrusive Video or Audio

Give your visitors the choice to watch a video or listen to audio on your website. By setting any music or videos to automatically play upon arrival you will force visitors to go out of their way to stop them playing; thus disrupting the user's experience of your school website.

Tip: If you have a school video on your homepage you can set it to play automatically, but be sure there is no sound. You can embed the video within a page of your website where visitors will have the option to listen to the sound or not. (E.g SummerFields homepage)

SummerFields School Website

6. Dull Content, Dull Design

When your website looks boring and the amount of text appears to be overwhelming, many people won't even give the content a chance. The design of your website should make the text look interesting and inviting to read with small content blocks that are easily digestible. Your content should be helpful and engaging; think short and sharp without compromising on quality substance. If you can say the same thing with half the amount of words... do it!

Tip: When writing copy for your website, you should have your visitors in mind. Each of your personas or audience segments will have different wants, needs and questions when they visit your school website. Make sure your content answers all possible questions in an effective and informative way.

7. Style Over Substance

The fonts you use can have a huge effect on the way your content is digested. Choosing fancy or stylistic typography could contribute to poor legibility, and ultimately a poor user experience. Have you ever been on a website that uses garishly bright colours with content you can't even read? Be wary of the colours you use - in terms of brightness and contrast - for it could prevent your visitors from being able to read your content.

Tip: Avoid unnecessarily elaborate typefaces, pixellation and poor contrast. Keep it clean, clear and simplistic.

8. Wait.. Still Loading

Since the introduction of broadband, internet users everywhere now have an incredibly low tolerance to slow loading pages. As you can see from the graph below, the longer it takes for a page to load, the more likely your website visitor is to leave that page. Even just a few seconds' delay will often make users leave a site immediately.

Tip: Don't make your visitors wait. Make sure your images and files are optimised for web. Avoid fancy widgets and overly complex data processing to keep your load speed to a minimum. The e4education CMS automatically translates your images into web ready versions AND it doesn't use widgets, which means it will have no detrimental affect on your page load speed... just saying!

Page Load Speed vs Bounce Rate

(Kissmetrics: How loading time affects your bottom line)

9. Dated or Stagnant Content

If your visitors come across the same content, every time they visit your site, they are going to be less likely to come back for more. It's essential to have a detailed content strategy to ensure you are constantly producing new content; whether it's on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

According to a Hubspot marketing report, businesses that updated their blogs multiple times a day, had their customer acquisition at 92%. We're not saying you need to blog several times a day - you have to work out what is right for your audience. Remember: it's quality, not quantity.

Tip: By frequently adding to and editing the content on your school website, your visitors are more likely to frequent the site; to keep up to date with the latest news and events. Use your school blog and social channels to create a constant flow of communication between your school and stakeholders.

10. You're Just No Fun!

Internet users are becoming increasingly more adverse to poorly designed websites. Ever clicked on a link in Google that has taken you to an ugly looking website? YES! Did you click off it almost instantly? YES!

Because the internet has become such an integral part in our daily lives, we are becoming less tolerant of out-dated designs that are... well... unattractive. An outdated design also affects how credible any website or brand appears, in the eyes of their audience. Moral of the story: don't miss out on conversions due to poor design.

Tip: Look into updating your website every three years, or invest in an adaptable and versatile CMS that allows you to change content blocks to give your website a new lease of life!

So now you know all the reasons why your school website might be under performing, you're in a position to do something about it!

Need some help of where to start? Get in touch with us today to discuss your options along with how we could help you.

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